Have Fun Writing for Children – Guest Post By Darlene Foster

If you like children and are quite childish, something I´ve often been accused of, then writing for children may seem easy and natural.

I began my love affair with words many years ago. Some of my fondest memories are being read to as a child, visiting the library, and discovering the ability to read by myself. I still have worn copies of favourite childhood books, such as The Bobbsey Twins, Little Women, Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables; and revisit these old friends from time to time. Books and children go together like toast and jam. Recently, one seven-year-old friend said to me, “Who doesn´t like books?” I never show up without books as gifts for my grandchildren. I am known as The Book Grandma.

It´s not surprising that I love writing stories for children.

While writing for children can be fun, it isn´t easy. It requires removing yourself from the adult world and thinking like a twenty-first-century kid (unless you’re writing a historical novel, then a kid from whatever century you are writing about). Fortunately, I like to hang out with kids, listen to the words they use, observe the gestures, the looks, the trends. I also enjoy reading children’s books to see what sparks the interest of today’s young people. Children notice things adults don’t and could care less about things adults think are important. It’s necessary to get into their headspace. And guess what? While I’m writing, I get to be a kid again – and what could be more fun!

Here are a few tips, based on what I’ve learned after writing eight middle-grade books.

  1. Kids like strong main characters, role models. Characters willing to take risks and sometimes mess up, but coming out on top in the end. Keep in mind the characters you liked as a child.
  2. Young people often act childish, but they can also be very mature, especially under pressure.
  3. The hero/heroine can possess extraordinary skills, but they still need to be real so readers can identify with them.
  4. Dialogue moves the story along, breaks up description and gets the reader to know characters better. Each character needs his/her own voice.
  5. Show emotion, don’t tell. This is true in all writing but especially when writing for kids. Instead of writing Jane was homesick, how about, Jane spent a lot of time looking at pictures of her family, often bursting into tears.
  6. Listen to kids talk so you get the lingo right. They are not teenagers so they won’t talk like them, not yet. They often parrot their parents and other adults around them.
  7. Watch movies and TV shows with kids in them, observe how they act and talk.
  8. Be aware that kids speak differently in different parts of the country, and the world.
  9. If you aren’t sure about something, ask a kid. I do this all the time. In fact, I have a street team of young readers from age 7 to 12. They are so helpful. Don’t ask a parent, they are the last to know how their kids talk or act!
  10. Kids are always giving me ideas. I keep a notebook and write down things they say and do, often incorporating these in my stories. They can be so clever too. Often wise beyond their years.

Writing for children is important because I want children to develop the same love of books I had as a child. A love that doesn’t fade with time. Children’s books create lifelong readers; readers who eventually buy adult books.

So if you have been thinking of writing for children, give it a try. Have fun and let yourself be a kid again!

 Thanks, Aurora, for the opportunity to talk about something I’m passionate about. If anyone has questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments.


About Darlene:

Darlene Foster is a Canadian author who has written the popular Amanda Travels series, featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in various countries. Darlene has won prizes for her short stories and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.

 Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held wonderful jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

Her books include Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021. 


Connect with Darlene:

website http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/darlenefoster
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/


 

An Unexpected Antagonist


‘The Council Of Twelve’ series is at a critical point at this moment. With the number of books, the tension between Good and Evil grows. The stories aren’t as innocent and romantic as they used to be. Of course, there is still a lot of love involved, after all, we are looking at the Good Side, Heaven,…

But also, there is the other side, and the tension in Hell has grown… Book 9 in the series delivers chaos, shows that there isn’t a mess mainly in the eternal fight, even Hell has its glitches and one of them is directed towards their ruler.

And here I need an Avenger… Alastor, the warrior with the golden spear. The Fighter for his master.

Alastor is a demonic evil spirit, very dedicated to the one who gives him a chance and entrusts him with a task that combines fighting as well as satiating his bloodthirst. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten, that this demon, as civilized as he can act, is still hard to assess.

Unknown and hidden he wandered among his fellow demon siblings, acting submissive and obedient, hiding his true nature and looks, protected by his master and commander.

He is not a fallen angel, like the Hellish Noblesse… he is a pure demon, but recognized by his Master, he is a secret weapon, for an emergency such as the situation that has occurred within the ‘Council Of Twelve’ series at this time. War… a war, worse than anyone on Earth will ever know.

Do humans know there is a war being fought among them? No

Do humans know there is the fight Good versus Evil still going on? No

Do humans feel there is something happening at this moment? Yes

They can feel the calamities, they experience the tsunamis, the earthquakes, the volcanoes, the hurricanes, tornadoes, the heat and cold, the fire, the temperature craziness…

In the meantime, the war goes on, the Archangels and Divine Warriors are fighting the darkness, the fear, the horror, the fire waves, the demonic influence, the legions of Hell with all their might.

There might be hope… but at this moment the odds aren’t good.

Do humans know that the Good side is fighting for them? No

Do humans know that their Creator, their Father, their Lord is sending them His angels to protect them?

Only the Believers… – only the believers…

How To Survive Being Married To A Writer #WritingCommunity – Written By Lucy Mitchell

Lucy Mitchell published a very helpful post on her ‘Blonde Write More’ blog. The post is mainly helpful to a writer’s better half and I think she gets a few points that not only made me smile but nodding enthusiastically. See for yourself. Thanks so much, Lucy!


It’s not easy being married to a writer. We are strange creatures.

Here are some useful tips on how to survive being married to a writer:

1. Accept the fact that you will spend a lot of your marriage talking about people, events and locations that don’t actually exist.

2. When your writer wakes you in the small hours with an amazing new idea for their next story you need to wake up, switch on the light and let them talk it through. Moaning about what time it is, how tired you are and what you have on at work is not going to help your writer. This is a big moment for them, it’s the birth of something wonderful. Your support is needed 24-7.

3. Marital relations and their writing ‘ups and downs’ will become interlinked. When their writing is going well you can expect good times, kisses and smiles. When their writing is not going so well you can expect tension, tears and tantrums.

Continue Reading Here

‘The Council Of Twelve Series’ Continues

It’s time – finally!!

The second book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series got its copyright and was sent out to the beta readers. I’m very curious about what they will say and if they are going to like the book.

Within the shortest time, I am going to reveal the cover of the second book. I find it as beautiful as the first one and I’m grateful for my talented cover designer.

Book three in the series is with the copyright lawyer currently. He said he expects it will get the copyright by the end of the year. We will see.

I’m very, very excited about what will come in my writing and publishing and, of course, I pray my readers will like the new, soon to be published, books.

Once again, KJ Magical design has created the book cover. Kathryn Jenkins is a very talented, almost magical graphic designer and has done an amazing job.

I’m very proud of her work, as well as my book and I’m curious how the readers like it.

Watch out for the cover reveal of the second book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series.

In the meantime, check out the ‘Soul Taker’ quiz! You will find it here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. It started July 1 and will end on July 20. The winner will be announced July 25 and will win the second book in the series as an e-book.

Continue to the ‘Soul Taker’ quiz here